Monday, October 27, 2008


Aye-Aye-Aye-Aye...I love pepitas! I love the fall, as you've probably already learned. I love the leaves, the cool weather, warm fires on cold evenings, mums, planting bulbs, eating squash and pumpkins and Pepitas--pumpkin seeds. When scooping pumpkin for cheesecake, muffins, bread or soup I cannot bring myself to just toss out the guts, seeds and all. I have to save the seeds and then roast them for snacks, or for use in recipes. You can even use them as the nuts in a pesto recipe. Over time I've learned a couple of tricks that make them much yummier. When scooping them out of the pumpkins I put them, guts and all into a bowl and then once all the pumpkin goo is scooped out, I strain the seeds free through my hands to separate the seeds from the slimy flesh. You don't need to worry about getting them perfectly clean, as some of the gooey flesh adds flavor to the seeds. Then, soak them in salted water overnight. The next day, drain them and spread them on a sheet pan and dry them in the oven at a very low temperature until completely dried, but not shriveled up and flaky. They taste great this way, or you can store them in an airtight container until ready to use in recipes. I often make spicy pumpkin seeds by melting a couple of tbsp of butter and adding cumin, ground cayenne pepper, garlic powder and Worcestershire sauce, then baking for about 45 minutes in a 250-275° oven, then sprinkle with coarse salt, stir and cool in the pan. These usually won't make it to storage in our house, but they make great snacks and even fun hostess gifts for the holidays. So before you toss out all those yummy seeds when carving your pumpkins, think of a fun use for them and the nutritional value as well--roughage!
Happy Carving--

No comments: